Restaurant Review – 4th July 2017
Restaurant: AVISTA Restaurant
Address: 39 Grosvenor Square, London W1K 2HP
Telephone: +44 (0)20 7596 3399
It is always lovely to be treated to dinner, especially when it is by my daughter. She picked the restaurant following a diligent amount of research and sourcing a Groupon voucher for a Tasting Menu Experience – and what a good job she did!!
AVISTA Restaurant is located in the Millennium Hotel Mayfair on London’s Grosvenor Square, a delightful setting when the sun shines. The interior of the restaurant has benefitted from a recent makeover and offers a light and airy space dominated by an open “prep” area where diners can watch dishes being finished off before delivery to the table.
So, to the food…. The Tasting Menu is a journey through a series of Italian Classics with a very modern twist:
First up, Raspberry bellinis and crackers with squid ink caviar and a cod mousse – a refreshing and crunchy start to the meal. Quickly followed by a delicious Amuse bouche – a taste of parma ham and melon with a beautiful, light and airy foam flavoured with the essence of parma ham.
And then into the meal proper….
A delicately marinated salmon ceviche topped with a frozen tomato granita, accompanied by quinoa and avocado – we both wanted more!
The next courses, a Foie Gras mousse with really interesting flavours of coca cola, cherry and cocoa – served almost as a creme brûlée. In truth, for me it was just a little bit sweet and could have done with something acidic to balance the overall sweetness of the dish. And then a wonderful pasta dish – Bigoli with a basil pesto, black olives and topped with a pecorino foam. Simply beautiful and again we were aching for more. For those of you who don’t know (and I was one of them), Bigoli is a pasta similar to spaghetti, but thicker.
For the feature course, we opted for the Beef Fillet Rossini (medium rare of course). This was a stunning course. An achingly tender fillet of beef with a beautifully caramelised Tropea Onion, slivers of girolle mushroom, a hint of black truffle and served with a rich, sticky jus…….. a fabulously executed dish.
Being greedy, we opted for the selection of three Italian cheeses accompanied by individual compotes ……… so lovely we forgot about a photograph……. so here is the result… one little bit of rind left!
Moving to the conclusion of the meal we had a Pre-dessert Dessert – papaya with vanilla ice-cream and then a Tiramisú – deconstructed into its individual elements and presented as a work of art. It was lip-smackingly good! Finally Petit fours…..
We washed all of this down with a lovely bottle of NZ Pinot Noir (£42.00) which worked well with each course. Avista’s wine list focusses on Italian Classics which can be a bit pricy – they go from £33 – £550 along with a selection from France, Spain and a few New World countries – so there’s something for everyone!
The staff in the restaurant were polite, attentive and professional, and Chef Granato even came and had a chat with us – a delightful, talented young man – watch out for my next Chef Profile.
To round out the evening we retired to the bar for coffee and a digestive – frankly we should have stayed at our table and ordered from there. It may be the young man behind the bar was a trainee, but 15 minutes to order two drinks and one coffee, 20 minutes to deliver them and then 15 minutes to deliver the bill after it was asked for was really a bit much – especially as there were only two other people in the bar at the time. Hopefully this was just a blip as it was out of character with the rest of our experience.
Despite the ending of the meal, I have no hesitation in encouraging you to eat at this restaurant if you have the opportunity to do so. Better still if there is a Groupon voucher to off-set the cost. The food is delicious, interesting and beautiful to look at. Chef Granato has worked hard to earn three AA Rossettes – they are thoroughly well deserved!